Assad's Chemical Weapons List 'Surprisingly Thorough'

Officials call it a 'serious document'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2013 7:36 AM CDT
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview with Chinese state CCTV, in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/SANA)

(Newser) – Bashar al-Assad handed over a document containing the locations of "dozens" of chemical weapons sites over the weekend, and it's apparently not half bad. Western officials yesterday categorized it as a "serious document" that's many pages in length and, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, "surprisingly thorough." Further, the information in the document is said to sync with what US intelligence has suspected: about 45 production and storage sites.

And while it's encouraging that Assad has completed step one of the process, "It's not necessarily 100% accurate, and we aren't naive—we don't know what we don't know," says one unnamed Western official. "We are still looking at it, but it seems interesting." Meanwhile, Voice of America reports that UN chemical weapons inspectors today returned to Syria; they plan to investigate claims of a chemical attack on March 19 outside Aleppo, notes the LAT. (Read more Bashar al-Assad stories.)

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